Each of Helen Acklam’s paintings are invested with an intensity of emotion. Sensations difficult to pin down - draw you into the borders, interiors and surfaces of her canvases. Consistently directed by her own biographical experiences, the paintings emerge and develop intuitively: things seep out.
Acklam is interested in describing things she is barely conscious of – vague instincts, feelings and sensations that hover somewhere on the border of consciousness, inaccessible to the world of language. The result is a curious sense of things being displaced, ensnared or hovering in between, with life and death never far from the surface.
At first glance, her paintings can appear to be entirely abstract. However, isolated figures and faces emerge as if peering through the layers of paint that coat its surface. Slashed, scratched and splashed marks begin to coalesce into fragments that threaten to slice and destroy the subjects within. For the artist, these paintings are vehicles to articulate what cannot and will not be spoken of: in search of a language to employ when words are not enough.
Anneka French - Curator, Art Writer
University of Brighton Fine Art MA (distinction)
Gloucestershire College of Art and Design
Online exhibition at
October 7th - 25th November 2018
March - 313, Brighton
June - MAFA 2013, Interim Degree Show, University of Brighton
September - PURE Autumn Arts Fair, Battle - prize awarded, 'Emerging Artist'
October - Mutopia, DeptfordX, London
October - STRARTA, Saatchi Gallery, London
October - 128, Brighton
22 May - 12 July Wing Gallery www.wingartgallery.com
3 July - 10 July MA Fine Art 2014, Degree Show, University of Brighton.
12 - 20 September Pure Arts Fair, East Sussex - prize awarded 'Best Overall Artist'
March - STRATA, Clerkenwell, London
8 - 12 December - FLUX, Royal College of Art, London
16 June - 16 July - Wing Gallery www.wingartgallery.com
22 - 24 July - The Other Art Fair, Arnolfini, Bristol
Selected for Freshpaint Magazine, International Issue no 14
1 - 30 August - The Arcades Project at The Unit, St James Arcade, Bristol
2 - 9 September - Group Exhibition, Spike Island Test Space, Bristol
1 - 30 September - 'Bodies' - a residency at The Unit, St James Arcade, Bristol
21 October - 19 November - Black Swan Arts Open 2016, Frome, Somerset
2 + 3 February - TateExchange, Tate Modern, London with Spike Associates
28 April - 1 May - Spike Associates at Spike Open Studios Weekend, Spike Island, Bristol
30 April - 30 June - Adelina Yard, Bristol. (exhibition with Victoria Coombes)
15 July - 15 October - Southmead General Hospital, Bristol (group exhibition, Synecdoche)
7 - 11 July - 'Kopfkino' at The Crypt, Bristol
July - on-line solo exhibition at www.babyforest.co/insearch
19th - 27th September - seiTies: a group exhibition with Bea Kayani and Andrew Neill Hayes at The Vestibules, City Hall, Bristol.
7 October - 25 November - 166 Annual Open Exhibition at The Royal West of England Academy.